Anthony Grant, more popularly known as Tony Bloom is the current chairman of professional association football club Brighton & Hove Albion aka the “Seagulls” or the “Albions” that is based in the city of Brighton & Hove, East Sussex in England. His many contributions to the sport and the club have earned him the title of “Brightonian” of the year in 2009.
During the 1970s in the English seaside resort town of Brighton that is about an hour south of London by train, Bloom was born into a family of Seagull fanatics who have supported the said club emotionally and financially for more than forty years and over three generations. This makes it a no brainer as to why he developed a love for the club at an early age and used to attend matches at the Goldstone Ground.
Tony’s grandfather Harry Bloom who was a known motor trader and hotel owner, was vice-chairman to Mike Bamber during the Seagull’s historic rise from the old Third Division to the First Division of the Football League. Harry’s son and Tony’s uncle Ray, was also a club director in the 1980s.
In May of 2009, Tony Bloom followed in the family’s footsteps and football legacy by being the chairman of Brighton & Hove Albion after succeeding Harry Dick Knight who held the post from 1997 to 2009.
But before he even held the post, Tony had already devoted a lot of emotional and financial investments to the club. Let’s take a look at this using a timeline.
In the year 2000, he first became a major investor and shareholder of the Brighton & Hove Albion. He continued to be a benefactor the following year and even personally financed the construction of the American Express Community Stadium, nicknamed as “The Amex” and also known as the Falmer Stadium, a football stadium near the village of Falmer in Brighton and Hove that serves as the home of Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. The said stadium opened back in 2011. He further helped finance the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre which opened in 2014.
Tony’s time as the Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club Chairman was nothing short of spectacular. The football club has risen significantly. Previous mismanagement that almost brought it close to relegation from the Football League to the Conference in 1997 and 1998 was so yesterday. In fact, such has already been overshadowed by the current accomplishments and undertakings. From a club which had just avoided relegation to League Two playing at Withdean Stadium, to a reputable Championship Club, complete with its very own stadium and training complex, the American Express Community Stadium and the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre respectively, the football club has come a long way.
Tony Bloom’s significant contributions and investments to the club is his football legacy. This is also the very reason why we was voted and awarded in 2009 as the “Brightonian of the Year”, a title he so very well deserves.